This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Entitled Insouciance : Well Congratulations ... And Still in Denial

"My release and reintegration into the community have been going great. I have not gotten into any trouble of any kind with the authorities."
"I am now an adult and I think independently. Even if the members of my family were to wish to influence my religious or other views, they would not be able to control or influence me in any negative manner."
"None of my family members are involved in any illegal activity."
Omar Khadr, formerly of Guantanamo Bay, convicted al-Qaeda terrorist
 Omar Khadr speaks to the media after he was granted bail in Edmonton, Alta., on May 7. (AMBER BRACKEN For The Globe and Mail)
Omar Khadr, whose father Ahmed Said Khadr was a personal colleague of Osama bin Laden, and who acted as banker and fund-raiser for al-Qaeda, was taken along with his brothers to live in Pakistan where he could be enrolled in mujahideen camps for training in assembling bombs, and learning how to use weapons with some degree of accuracy. His father was killed in a fight with Pakistani troops, after his release from jail on charges of having been involved in a bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan.

Like his brothers, Omar Khadr was expected by his father and his mother to become a fervent and skilled jihadist. At age 15 he proved his mettle by engaging in a firefight with American forces in Afghanistan, throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. medic and severely wounding another American soldier. He was himself grievously wounded in the fireback, and it was American medics that saved his life. Thereafter he spent years growing into adulthood, in Guantanamo Bay prison.

He was returned to Canada ten years later to serve the remainder of his prison sentence. A Calgary judge ruled he could be granted early release on bail, which the Government of Canada is in the process of appealing. The conditions of his release include that he be remote from his family, well known to disparage the Canadian way of life, and to hail the superiority of Islamist values. He was to be under curfew, and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, and converse in English under the supervision of his lawyer with whom he has been living.

Now, claiming that his elderly maternal grandparents, Palestinians who live in Toronto are ill, he is asking leave to visit with them, on his own, not in the presence of his surety, and in a language other than English. He has expressed his desire to see in person his mother, his siblings and other relatives through permission from the court for a two-week visit to Toronto. He wants to have the electronic monitoring bracelet removed, as an intrusively unwarranted embarrassment, and that his curfew be eased as well.

The condition of his bail denying him leave from Alberta, and communication with family in English only along with additional conditions were what allowed him from May 7 forward to enjoy the freedom from incarceration that a Calgary judge awarded him. Months later he is agitating for full release from all imposed conditions. In essence, he is saying that it is true that his family members retain their al-Qaeda convictions, but he is no longer vulnerable to their imposing their views on him.

It seems reasonable that his bail should be revoked, since it came with strict conditions meant to be  honoured. What he wants does not reflect the conditions that the justice system imposed on him. And the relaxation of  his prison term while reflecting goodwill on the part of a presiding justice, does not reflect the will of the government. The negative influence of his family is one thing, the consequences of his own actions in a conflict situation resulting in death and injury to others, another altogether.

Omar Khadr does not seem to feel remorseful for his actions in the past, and does feel entitled to his requests being granted, because he doesn't appear to feel that he has committed any actions for which he should feel regret. And nor does he believe that his father was anything but a good man. That being so, the Islamist jihadism that al-Qaeda foments not only represents what he was taught to believe, and taught to take part in, but also how he views the situation at the present time.

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